By Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - A pilot project has transformed sites of several demolished Detroit homes into gardens designed to capture and soak up stormwater.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, the University of Michigan Water Center and the Detroit Land Bank Authority worked on the project involving four “bioretention gardens” on the city’s west side. There’s a Wednesday event celebrating the project.

Joan Nassauer, a University of Michigan professor of landscape architecture, says basements of demolished homes were filled with porous material as part of the effort to help soak up water.

Those involved say each garden is expected to reduce stormwater volume by about 300,000 gallons a year and should help reduce street flooding during big storms. They say that should help improve the health of the Rouge River and the Great Lakes.

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